soaked, impregnated, or imbued thoroughly; charged thoroughly or completely; brought to a state of saturation.
(of colors) of maximum chroma or purity; of the highest intensity of hue; free from admixture of white.
(of a solution) containing the maximum amount of solute capable of being dissolved under given conditions.
(of an organic compound) containing no double or triple bonds; having each single bond attached to an atom or group.
(of an inorganic compound) having no free valence electrons.

1660–70; saturate + -ed2

nonsaturated, adjective
subsaturated, adjective Unabridged


[v. sach-uh-reyt; adj., n. sach-er-it, -uh-reyt]
verb (used with object), saturated, saturating.
to cause (a substance) to unite with the greatest possible amount of another substance, through solution, chemical combination, or the like.
to charge to the utmost, as with magnetism.
to soak, impregnate, or imbue thoroughly or completely: to saturate a sponge with water; a town saturated with charm.
to destroy (a target) completely with bombs and missiles.
to send so many planes over (a target area) that the defensive electronic tracking equipment becomes ineffective.
to furnish (a market) with goods to its full purchasing capacity.
verb (used without object), saturated, saturating.
to become saturated.
a saturated fat or fatty acid.

1530–40; < Latin saturātus (past participle of saturāre to fill), equivalent to satur- full, well-fed (see sad) + -ātus -ate1

desaturate, verb (used with object), desaturated, desaturating.
oversaturate, verb (used with object), oversaturated, oversaturating.

3. See wet. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To saturated
World English Dictionary
1.  to fill, soak, or imbue totally
2.  to make (a chemical compound, vapour, solution, magnetic material, etc) saturated or (of a compound, vapour, etc) to become saturated
3.  (tr) military to bomb or shell heavily
4.  a less common word for saturated
[C16: from Latin saturāre, from satur sated, from satis enough]

saturated (ˈsætʃəˌreɪtɪd)
1.  See also supersaturated (of a solution or solvent) containing the maximum amount of solute that can normally be dissolved at a given temperature and pressure
2.  (of a colour) having a large degree of saturation
3.  of a chemical compound
 a.  containing no multiple bonds and thus being incapable of undergoing additional reactions: a saturated hydrocarbon
 b.  containing no unpaired valence electrons
4.  polyunsaturated See also unsaturated (of a fat, esp an animal fat) containing a high proportion of fatty acids having single bonds
5.  See also supersaturated (of a vapour) containing the equilibrium amount of gaseous material at a given temperature and pressure
6.  (of a magnetic material) fully magnetized
7.  extremely wet; soaked

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

1530s, "to satisfy, satiate," from L. saturatus, pp. of saturare "to fill full, sate, drench," from satur "sated, full," from PIE base *sa- "to satisfy" (see sad). Meaning "soak thoroughly" first recorded 1756. Marketing sense first recorded 1958. Saturation bombing first recorded
1942, in reference to Allied air raid on Cologne.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

saturate sat·u·rate (sāch'ə-rāt')
v. sat·u·rat·ed, sat·u·rat·ing, sat·u·rates
Abbr. sat.

  1. To imbue or impregnate thoroughly.

  2. To soak, fill, or load to capacity.

  3. To cause a substance to unite with the greatest possible amount of another substance.

  4. To satisfy all the chemical affinities of a substance; neutralize.

  5. To dissolve a substance up to that concentration beyond which the addition of more results in a second phase.

sat'u·ra·ble (sāch'ər-ə-bəl) adj.
sat'u·ra'tor n.

saturated adj.

  1. Unable to hold or contain more; full.

  2. Soaked with moisture; drenched.

  3. Combined with or containing all the solute that can normally be dissolved at a given temperature.

  4. Having all available valence bonds filled. Used especially of organic compounds.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Science Dictionary
saturated   (sāch'ə-rā'tĭd)  Pronunciation Key 

(click for larger image in new window)

  1. Relating to an organic compound in which all the carbon atoms are joined by single bonds and therefore cannot be combined with any additional atoms or radicals. Propane and cyclopentane are examples of saturated hydrocarbons. Compare unsaturated.

  2. Relating to a solution that is unable to dissolve more of a solute.

  3. Containing as much water vapor as is possible at a given temperature. Air that is saturated has a relative humidity of 100 percent.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
They've adapted to thrive at the edge of hydrothermal vents, which spew
  superheated water saturated with toxic chemicals.
The result is a tiny gene pool that is saturated with bad traits.
Drying the bones-which were saturated during excavations-could take a year or
  longer, according to the museum.
These things should have given you food for thought, but it appears that you
  are already saturated with your own preconceptions.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature